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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic


Submitted: August 08, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 08, 2018





Unexpectedly my eyes flicked wide open when I heard that the radio of my electronic clock was playing. Moments later it stopped. I peered at the luminescent radio clock.

It was showing 2.05 a.m.

I felt annoyed. Why did the radio start and stop at this God forsaken hour? I hadn’t set any radio alarm.

I glanced at the window, it was closed with the curtains drawn together, the AC was working silently spewing cool air and the room in the semi-darkness appeared the same when I had switched off the bedside lamp before sleeping.

Thinking that it was of no consequence, I closed my eyes again and slept off for how long I didn’t know…. when the radio switched on again and became silent. Initially, I hadn’t opened my eyes but somehow, I ventured to look at the radio clock again. That abruptly jerked me out of my sleepiness…. what I saw was odd.

The clock was showing at 12.00 midnight.

That meant that the time now was about two hours behind than what I had seen last. What was this? Was the clock malfunctioning? Or did I see the time wrong in the first instance and this was the actual time? Thinking for some moments I propped up on the bed, switched on the bedside lamp and picked up my Rolex watch. It was also showing 12.00.

Moving across the bed, I picked up the radio clock and scrutinized it. There was nothing wrong with it. I walked out of the bedroom and switching on the light in the drawing room looked at the wall clock… it was displaying time of around 12.00. 

Was there some confusion in my mind?

Then I heard noises outside and opening my window found that many people were rushing out on the street. Faintly I could hear shouts, “Earthquake… earthquake…”

I too came out of my house with alacrity. People were huddling around, talking, they had experienced a massive tremor at around 3.45 a.m. and in fear had rushed out.

Peculiarly, I hadn’t felt any quake at all.

I was surprised. What are they saying now? Just before coming out of the house I had seen the time as around 12.00.

Returning to the house I looked at the radio clock... It was 4.00 a.m. I checked my Rolex, I hurried towards my wall clock … everywhere it was showing at 4.00 a.m.

Suddenly a tinge of fear started creeping into my consciousness; was there something unexplainable?

The rest of the night I couldn’t sleep… glancing at the display on the radio clock, checking my wrist- watch and the wall clock again, and again; there was nothing wrong anywhere. But there was one problem; why didn’t I experience such a massive earthquake during the night?


When I reached the office that morning my mind was heavy with the unexpected and frightening experience of last night.

During lunch, my colleague Mary came into my chamber to share our food. This we had been doing since last so many years. I didn’t remember when we also started sharing our thoughts and more. It had always been a pleasure interacting with her; that lady’s intelligence and attractive personality eternally charmed me. Over the years we realized that not only we had many common likes and dislikes but more importantly understood and cared about each other. It would not be wrong to admit that I had begun to like and respect her to that extent that it could only be described as love. Her feelings too were likewise.

Mary was saying, “Hardik, what’s the problem? You look so tense!” Then leaning forward, she took my hand, “I know there is something bothering you… will you not tell me? Believe me, you will feel better.”

I said, “Mary, last night I have had a very unnerving experience….”  I then stopped and looked at my watch. The Lunchtime was running out and we couldn’t discuss personal matters during office hours, so she offered to come to my flat that evening.

That day I was home early. Later in the evening, when the clock on my wall was showing the time of 8.35 p.m., my doorbell rang. Getting up from my sofa and expecting her arrival, I opened the door.

I was surprised to see another woman standing there. She was of medium height and smartly attired. I must have stared at her for some moments, then she spoke, “Sorry to disturb you, I am Sophia, you will not know me… but I am a close friend of Mary… she has sent me.”

I stepped aside to let her in, “Do please come in…. any message from Mary? “

She walked in and looked around the drawing room, not particularly well arranged and cleaned, and sat down at the corner edge of my only large sofa. I stood waiting for her to respond again.

She said, “Mary, unfortunately, had a minor accident in the lift of her building while she was returning today after office about 6.45 p.m. Luckily I was at the landing of her floor and took her to the nearby hospital. Even in some pain, she managed to tell me about her evening plan to visit you. At that time, she couldn’t call you as she seemed to have lost her mobile ...… so, on her request I have personally come to inform you.”

I nodded, but I was becoming worried about her. “What exactly has happened to Mary? What do the doctors say”?

She said, “Like I told you it was a slight mishap… she fell down and hit her head in the lift… passed out for a few seconds or so then she regained consciousness. Fortunately, I was waiting outside the lift as it came up to her floor… as the doors opened I saw her lying on the floor in a heap. There was nobody with her. Well, by then, she had regained senses but was feeling very sick …I took her to the hospital. Doctors said that there was nothing to worry about and released her after some first aid.”

There was nothing else she could tell me more; she then took her leave.

A little later I called Mary at her landline number.

When she came on the line her voice was faint and indistinct.

“So nice of you to call Hardik but I am….” suddenly her voice faded away. She appeared very sick.

When I reached her flat, I found that although doctors had said not to worry… but her condition was worsening. An hour later, after I had left, she was taken in an Ambulance to the City Hospital.

The next few days she was in critical condition and on the fifth day, I could meet her as a special case.

She looked like a skeleton, having lost her weight, and looked at me with tired eyes. She wanted to speak, but the words couldn’t come out.

She stayed in the Hospital for the next fifteen days, but her health was not progressing well. The doctors said that nothing more could be achieved by staying in the hospital and asked her to go home and have personal nursing care.


That night I was feeling awful.

She was in my mind continuously and I couldn’t understand how to help her. Would she live? By the looks of her, it seemed difficult, although the doctors had not given up hope. It was not clear how a mere fall and hit on her head could strike her down so badly.

As I was pondering on these depressive thoughts suddenly my eyes fell on the radio clock and I remembered with a mild shudder the incident of that night. I was still not sure what had happened then.

But weirdly, my mind was also veering to the possibility of that incident happening again. Was that possible?

I remembered the night when I was awakened both times by the radio playing, first at 2.05 a.m., then later at 12 midnight; was it going back in time? I also wondered whether the entire process started and ended with the radio playing. And I knew too that at both instances the radio had stopped within moments.

But the real question was: what was happening?

I sat thinking for a long time. The thought which was also playing in my mind was; why I hadn’t understood the heavy tremor of the earthquake that night? Everybody else did!

 An hour had passed when suddenly it struck me very plainly that there could be a bizarre reason for all this. Strange it might seem but through that radio clock device, I was transported back in time. It was a time machine which had taken me to the past!!

As I thought about it more, the jigsaw puzzle seemed to be getting solved!

Now I understood that when I woke up the first time at 2.05 a.m. I had started to go back in time and when I woke up the second time and saw the time of 12 midnight I was already two hours back in time. Inexplicably, when I had woken up the second time, it was a trigger for my return to the actual time.

The actual time, then, was 4.00 a.m.

Now I understood that when I checked the time after coming back to the house after meeting the earthquake- crowd, the clock was showing the actual time of around 4.00 a.m.

I also grasped that when I was back in the past that the earthquake happened around 3.45 a.m., so I hadn’t felt it.

That was it!

My thoughts were now clearing.

That night, tentatively, I picked up the radio clock and checked the time. It was showing the actual time of 9.30 p.m. It was post dinner and I was in my bedroom and about to go to bed.

Frowning and with silent prayers, on my lips, I switched on the radio. I was deeply concentrating about going back in time by two hours.

At first, nothing happened then the time display on the radio clock swiftly changed to 7.30 p.m. and stopped. The radio too stopped.

I looked around to see if anything had changed and found to my surprise that I was in my office attire…. my Rolex watch and wall clock showed the time of 7.30 p.m. and I was feeling hungry. My kitchen lights were switched off and my briefcase was on the sofa.

I knew that I had gone to a status at 7.30 p.m. when I had just returned from office. 

I had indeed moved back in past by two hours.

Walking out of the house I looked around. There seemed to be no change. The time travel appeared to be happening to me on a personal level and to my immediate surroundings.

Returning I picked up the radio clock and checked the display. It was still showing at 7.30 p.m. I then switched on the radio and waited. Within moments the time display changed to the actual time of little past 9.30 p.m.

I had returned to the present time.

I was now getting a sense of elation for my new-found power; how I got it, I didn’t know.

But soon my thoughts came back to Mary. How could I help her? How to save her?

I then started contemplating…. many minutes passed…. when suddenly an idea struck me.


Next day it was late in the evening when I reached Mary’s flat. It was on the 17th floor of a multi-storied building. “Skyscraper”. The building had three lifts, but I took the lift number 2 as the other two were not working.

Her maidservant opened the door. She usually lived alone, but after the accident, a maidservant and a nurse were taking care of her- 24 hours.

She was lying on the bed; her face was pale, and she looked very sick. Seeing me she smiled, a wane smile, “Hello, Hardik what brings you here? “She held out a hand which was trembling which I held gingerly. She looked worse than what I had last seen. My heart was bleeding for her; never had I expected her to see her like this.

With a slight quiver in my voice, I said, “Mary, your health is going down rapidly, I fear for your life…. I am very worried about you…. I don’t know what to do…”

She pulled me closer softly towards her and whispered, “Don’t worry Hardik, I will live…. I will be all right… your love will take care…”

I turned away, hiding my tears, “Doctors are not able to cure you even after so many days…”

A little later I was sitting on a stool next to her bed and drinking tea. I wanted to tell her about my idea. God knew it was a spooky one, but I could try.

I leaned forward and started speaking., “Mary, the other day in the office I was trying to tell you something about my strange experience…. but I couldn’t …. this unfortunate accident happened… let me now tell you…… who knows I may be able to help you….” 

I went on speaking for the next half an hour; she was listening intently; her face was showing emotions of surprise and disbelief, but she was understanding my concern.


The next day was Wednesday evening, the time was 8.35 p.m. and I was again in her flat but this time with my radio clock: that time machine!

Now was the time to check whether my idea would work.

I knew that it was another Wednesday, the 15th of March, last month, that while returning home from the office and after taking the lift number 2 of her building at around 6.45 p.m. that she had met with that accident. Mary’s friend Sophia had said that.  

I held her hand and keeping the radio clock on the table, switched on the radio with a silent prayer on my lips. I concentrated deeply about moving back to the past to the day of 15th March at the same time and place.

Nothing happened at first, then the time display on the radio clock swiftly changed to 6.45 p.m. and stopped.

I saw that I was transported back in time and was standing near the lift number 2 of her building waiting when Mary reached me. She was returning from office.

It was Wednesday the 15th of March and my wristwatch showed 6.45 p.m.!

I greeted her, “Hello Mary…. Let’s go and have a cup of coffee from the nearby coffee shop. “

I didn’t let her take the lift at 6.45 p.m. That was the danger!

When we came out of the coffee shop, it was 7.57 p.m. When we took the lift number 2 it was close to 8.05 p.m. As the lift whirled up smoothly, I looked around. There was nobody except the two of us and we reached the 17th floor without any incident.

As the lift doors opened and we stepped out we saw Sophia standing there at the landing, apparently waiting for us.

She smiled, “Good to see you, Mary …. I am happy that you are all right and didn’t take the lift at 6.45 pm. Am very glad… all the best to you.” She then looked at me and said, “Your radio clock is a very nice one…. please switch on the radio again….” and with a wave of hand she entered the lift, the doors closed silently, and it went down.

We then entered the flat, the radio clock was lying on the table where I had left it. I switched the radio on and in a moment the time changed to around 9. 55 p.m. which was the current day and time.

We were now in the present and I looked at Mary. She was looking normal and there was no sign of any illness. She was hale and hearty.

Now I knew that my idea was a success. I had gone back with Mary in the past to the fateful day, place and time and averted her accident by taking the lift at a later time. She had avoided the dangerous lift ride at 6.45 p.m. and so was safe.

Mary and I were sitting on the sofa and celebrating her return to normal health, but there was a doubt in our mind.

She said,” Why was Sophia waiting for us? How come she knows about the radio clock?”

I sat there, thinking. The best way was to talk to her and find out.

Mary said although Sophia was her dear friend of school days, she was not in touch with her for more than two years. She had met Sophia only on the day of the accident when she had helped her.

Mary agreed that she would get in touch with Sophia. Unfortunately, she didn’t have her mobile number.


That day was Sunday and I was in Mary’s flat.

She was saying, “I have requested a common friend to give Sophia’s mobile number Even my friend doesn’t have her number. Anyway, she will find out and let me know….”

As she was speaking, a call came to her mobile and after listening for a few moments her face turned ashen and her hands started shaking…... 

I got up in alarm, “What is happening Mary?”

She kept her mobile down and turned towards me with tears in her eyes, “Sophia is no more …. she had died in an accident the last year……  “

We were completely stunned!! Stupefied! We had seen her and talked to her more than once during these days! She was physically present and helped Mary! But the ultimate help to save Mary’s life; through this paranormal time machine – radio clock;  was this the handiwork of dead Sophia- her spirit? 

This world was a weird and wonderful place!











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